6 things to consider for Auction Items during COVID-19

6 things to consider for Auction Items during COVID-19

A number of our clients have been asking for advice on auction items for their online fundraising campaign during the COVID-19 pandemic. In response we thought we’d drop down some key points as we see them for auction items selection at this time.

1 – Think local:

Your supporters may be nervous bidding on auction items that require international travel, so staying local is a safe bet / a necessity right now. Here are some example options to consider when selecting supplied items, or trying to procure donations:

Dinner party in your own home – Always a best-selling item for us, providing you and your friends with a professional culinary experience in your own home

Staycations – Hotels with experiences onsite, or cottage breaks with outdoor activities as part of the package, will be very attractive to bidders

Private dining – As restaurants (safely) reopen, bidders will be keen to eat out but also with friends and in a controlled environment

At home taster experiences – Wine, champagne and gin tastings in your own home; more great options for bidders to consider

National parks – Lodge stays, adventure experiences, animal observation and ski trips should all prove popular                                        

2 – Memorabilia:

We have seen a resurgence in memorabilia over the past few weeks, especially as many charities tap into celebrity ambassadors to support them. Many donors are bidding on signed sporting items, photographs and even pieces used on stage or on camera; so don’t be afraid to ask your supporters for help. In addition, we have a substantial range of auction memorabilia including sports, historical, music and art, the latter being of particular interest as home renovation projects soar during this ‘stay at home’ time.

3 – Art:

Art has been a constantly growing category over the past few years and right now we are seeing so many online art auctions going live. You have so many options available to procure these, many charities are teaming up directly with upcoming artists and agreeing on a structure which benefits the artist and you the charity.

4 – Include delivery as standard:

Given that many fundraising events are now running online as specific campaigns or virtual galas, it’s important to include delivery of auction items as standard. We have been doing this for years, finding it the safer option as winners can get a little carried away on the way home from an event. Work with a courier service to provide a price that covers nationwide. And we recommend you include this within the starting price of the item, explaining within the description that delivery is included. This will make the item more attractive and remove any concerns bidders may have.

5 – Extended validity:

We process thousands of auction item vouchers a year and acted quickly to support our clients’ winners. By immediately working with our suppliers to extend their terms, it now means guests can take prizes in 2021, giving two years validity. The reaction was fantastic and gave guests the peace of mind they needed. To increase participation and drive bidding up, it’s important to ensure any holiday/experience you now offer has extended validity during this current time.

6 – International travel will return!

International breaks and experiences always drive high numbers in terms of participation and charity profit! If you can procure them and with extended validity and flexibility, they absolutely should still feature in your online fundraising campaign. Ensure terms are clear at the top of the description, as this will be the first question raised from the donor. In addition, while times are tough for travel there will undoubtedly be some attractive deals out there, so get searching!

Online fundraising and auction item selection isn’t rocket science, but that extra 10-20% participation really can make all the difference! So, we hope the above is useful and answers a few questions. As ever if you have any comments or further questions, please do get in touch.

Ben Crook

Ben Crook

Chief Operating Officer

Ben is at the forefront of every project in Givergy, listing and actioning constant improvements across the business. With over a decade of experience in the charity and events sector he brings a deep understanding of what the fundraising industry needs to operate effectively and efficiently.